by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Associated Press, the country’s top wire service, is now bankrolled in part by millions of dollars from left-wing foundations, including one founded by “1619 Project” author Nikole Hannah-Jones.
The news organization last year announced a series of “partnerships” to subsidize reporters covering climate change, race, and democracy. A review of the donor roster shows that the vast majority fund left-wing political causes, while none are supporters of conservative initiatives.
The Ida B. Wells Society, founded by “1619 Project” lightning rod Hannah-Jones, has teamed up with filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s Hearthland Foundation, for example, to foster “more inclusive storytelling” at the Associated Press.
In some ways, it was a natural partnership: The AP’s global investigations editor, Ron Nixon, serves on the Ida B. Wells Society’s board of directors. In others, it may prove more problematic, given that Hannah-Jones’s own reporting has been disputed by historians, who have argued—among other things—that her account of the motivations of the American revolutionaries is factually inaccurate.
The funding, much of it from these sorts of overly political actors, will make it more challenging for the Associated Press to swat away accusations of political bias. In one high-profile example, critics blasted the organization for revising its style guide to instruct reporters to avoid the use of terms like “the French,” which the AP indicated was “dehumanizing.”
AllSides, a group that tracks media bias across the industry, last year changed its rating for the AP from “center” to “leans left,” citing what it said was an increase in “word choice bias” and “bias by omission of views” in its coverage. AllSides says it closely monitors the Associated Press’s content because the AP’s content is “broad and far-reaching.”